Despite the availability of effective, curative treatment for hepatitis C virus, substantial gaps remain in care. Novel approaches to closing these gaps, such as pharmacist-led HCV clinics and providing care within homeless shelters, may improve access to treatment and help further efforts to eliminate HCV, according to new research.
OhioHealth, despite being a large healthcare organization, did not have ambulatory hepatology services before January 2023, when they established the referral-based, multidisciplinary Comprehensive Liver Program to care for patients with a wide array of liver diseases, said Kenneth Barga, PharmD, an ambulatory hepatology pharmacist with the program, in Columbus.
The health system also created a pharmacist-led HCV management clinic, in which patients have an initial visit with a referring provider, an HCV treatment visit with Dr. Barga and follow-up visit to assess sustained virologic response at 12 weeks (SVR 12).
During the initial visit to the Viral Hepatitis Management Clinic, clinicians screen patients for HCV, do a pretreatment workup and refer for treatment, if appropriate, Dr. Barga said. To facilitate the pretreatment workup, he created an HCV workup panel that is orderable within OhioHealth’s electronic health record.